Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Stanton Starts from Scratch; Lacrosse Club Begins as a Diversion for Students in Baccalaureate Program

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Stanton Starts from Scratch; Lacrosse Club Begins as a Diversion for Students in Baccalaureate Program

Article excerpt

Byline: EMILY MOSIER, The Times-Union

Stanton Prep senior Ian Enniss was looking for an alternative sport.

He needed to satisfy the 50 active-service hours required in the International Baccalaureate program, which is a rigorous, pre-university course of study.

Enniss wasn't the only one. He started a petition last spring and gained enough interest to start a lacrosse club. But there was only one problem. Nobody knew anything about the sport.

"We were all new to the sport but anxious and eager to learn," Enniss said.

But with a sport that is more popular in the Northeast, who in Florida would coach the club? Stanton adviser Frank Bunton posted an advertisement at Jacksonville University later in the year for someone with lacrosse experience.

Ryan Montagna, a sophomore at JU, responded to Stanton and expressed his knowledge of lacrosse. Montagna played competitive lacrosse since he was 10 years old in Auburn, N.Y. All of his teammates went on to play competitive lacrosse in college, but Montagna chose to pursue an aviation operation degree in Jacksonville.

"I thought I would have to leave lacrosse behind up in New York," Montagna said. "I'm glad to still be involved with the sport. This experience has taught me a lot, especially about leadership."

Montagna began working with the club in October and, without using a rule book, he has taught the players the basics of the game.

"It is easier to coach [high school-age] athletes, because they are able to understand why we do certain plays -- it's just a matter of executing the plays," Montagna said.

The players, all Stanton students, have learned the game through trial and error. At first, they thought they could tackle a player trying to get the ball, like in football. Now they have learned the procedure to push the opponent instead of tackling.

"They are smart kids," Montagna said. "They picked up the terminology and through game-like situations learned the proper way to play."

Montagna also gains credits from JU for his help with the team, but he is content to teach the kids his love of lacrosse. …

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